To Love / Welcoming Fall with Bailey

 
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      Good morning! Tomorrow is the first day of fall, and thought temps are supposed to be in the 90's, I'm going to ignore that and bake pumpkin cookies (recipe coming in October), decorate the house with our fall things, and do a fall craft with Bailey. The leaves are dropping like flies around here, and that's enough for me to say bye to summer!  

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        Now, one of the fun things about parenting is that you get to make a big deal out of stuff like the seasons changing! It's to get kids excited about a new season, and to also teach them something about the way our Earth works, which I think you're never to young to be aware of. That being said, I've rounded up a list of fun fall activities for everyone in the family, most of which I plan on trying to do this season with my own family. Check it out below!

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Fall To-Do (Bailey Included!):

- Do a few fall crafts / My favorite ones are this fox puppet, these pumpkin apple stamps, and any of these nature projects (fall is the perfect time for foraging outdoors!)

- Go apple picking / There is an orchard near Columbia that lets you pick 'em yourself, and we plan to finally go this year! I've never been apple picking, and neither has Bailey, so this is the fall activity I'm most looking forward to!

- Bake all of the pumpkin treats / As I mentioned, I'm making pumpkin cookies for the blog (and our pumpkin loving tummies) this weekend, but we've already made these brownies, and ya they were as good as they look!

Explore new trails / Fall is my favorite time for hiking (hello pretty trees everywhere), and though I've lived here for 6 years, I still haven't trekked all of the ones in and around Columbia. I plan to chip away at the list this season! (Bonus: Bailey has endless energy and is an excellent hiking companion)

Visit Rocheport / Rocheport, MO is the closest thing we have to a wine country around here. We like to do an outing each fall, starting at our favorite pumpkin patch with a corn maze and tepees, and ending with a picnic on the bluffs of Les Bourgeois winery.  

Thanks for reading, and have a fun Thursday!

 

 

To Get Ready for Preschool

 

     Good morning! Bailey starts preschool in less than a month now, and it's strange, but I'm more excited than sad. Of course, I'm a little lethargic about my once baby turning into a full blown kid, but obviously I can't stop time so there's not really a point in dwelling on it. Like with most things in life, I choose to focus on the positive! The main positive here is that Bailey's getting the education and attention she needs during the day, specific to her age. With both Brett and I working, it's just time. 

     It helps that she's ready too. She can blossom and flourish in a preschool environment, and that's more important to me than my own feelings on the subject. It also doesn't hurt that I get to revisit the school supplies section (my favorite growing up) for the first time in I won't say how many years. Do all parents get this excited about getting their children school supplies?! I'm sure it's irrational, as Bailey will probably not care at all about her supplies, but I don't care. It's my silver lining, so I'm sticking to it! 

     I'll be sharing Bailey's school wardrobe next month on her first day of preschool, so be on the lookout for that! See you here Thursday with some shibori dying!

To Love / Summer with Bailey

 

     Sunshine. Pure sunshine. For some reason, that's one of the first words that pops into my head when thinking of Bailey. It could be her hair, but I think it has more to do with how her face lights up at the prospect of something new and exciting. This happens often, but it's a constant in these crazy, lazy, hazy days of summer. 

      Summer with Bailey is many things, both good and not as good. Excessive heat and relentless sunshine don't bring out the best in most people, myself included, but especially not a toddler who just wants to play outside, and doesn't really grasp why she can't. It's hard not understanding, so I let her go and see why playing outside isn't really an option. Less than 5 minutes outside in 90 degree heat shows her my reasoning.

       All this is to say that even in the depressing aspects of a season, there's an opportunity for learning. That yes, life isn't always easy, but those hard things mean just as much as the simple things we enjoy. One of our favorite "simple things" to do is pick dandelions, and you would be correct in guessing that we choose the ones in their puff ball state. Why would you pick a little flower over something you can blow into mama's face? It's her happiness in this little activity, and all of the other small ones, that made me fall in love with this summer. 

      Bailey in the summer is wild, free, raucous at times, sweet as the strawberries she picks, and observant of all of the life that's sprung up around her from spring. It's quite the event watching her have her own experiences. From registering the first unforgiving summer storm that she's ever seen roll in, to staring with curiosity at the tiny glimpses of light that are magically emitted from seemingly ordinary bugs, there is much to ogle at in the summer. 

       I'm not sure what fall will bring (although I could give it a few guesses), but I know it will include new experiences for my little one. It's well known that they don't stay little for long, which is the purpose of this documentation. However, the one constant and comfort is that the newness will never fade. 

      Thanks for reading my little ode to the summer of Bailey. Have a fun Thursday + weekend, and I'll see you back here on Monday with one of my favorite subjects: shoes!

All photos by auntie Kristen Williams.

To Make / Bubbles

 

     Good morning! Just wanted to share a super easy DIY I made for Bailey this spring. Homemade bubbles only require a few ingredients, and all it takes is a little foraging to craft a wand to go with them! Get the how-to below!

Materials:

- 1 part dish soap

- 3 parts water

- 2 tsp. of vegetable glycerin

- a twig

- copper wire

Directions:

1. Assemble your wand by curling the wire around the end of your twig a few times, and then shaping it at the end that will form the bubbles. For your bubbles, fill your jar 3/4 of the way with water.

2. Then, add enough dish soap to fill to the top, then add your vegetable glycerin.

3. Shake to combine, and enjoy!

To Take Photos / Over the Weekend

 

     Good morning! Just wanted to share some photos from this weekend with you all today. It was a nice, relaxing one, and it was warm enough to venture out to our favorite gardens! The sidewalks are basically Bailey's running track, so we just walk behind and make sure she doesn't get too far ahead. We had to stop in the school house to snap a picture of Bailey of course!

     Then, all weekend, Bailey was styling her stuffed animals. She's gotten in the habit of arranging them somewhere then asking me to take a picture. I guess she's picked up on some of what I do!

       At the gardens, they didn't have a ton of blooming plants yet. Shockingly though, there were quite a few beds and bushes that already had shoots coming out of the ground.

      They did have some magnolia trees already flowering. This type of tree is the only kind I've seen doing that so far. Brett's parents have one in their backyard, and it was also flowering last week! Crazy!

     Lastly, I've started meal prepping on Sunday's something to eat for breakfast all week. This time, it was whole wheat banana muffin bread, and it's the perfect thing to have on hand for my busy mornings.

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

For Bailey / Lately

 

     Hi there! February's short, so that means it's already time for another Bailey, Lately update!

Bailey, Lately:

- is basically not napping anymore. She'll have the random late afternoon one once or twice a week, but other than that, it is nonstop toddler time from dawn til dusk!

- can draw smiley faces. Like an actual smiley face! She draws them over and over again, saying who each one is.

- has also been coloring within lines fairly well. She obviously can't get marker perfectly inside a shape, but she definitely will fill each shape and not just scribble all over a page now.

- is starting to count on her fingers. We've been teaching her that she's two and holding up two fingers, which she just mastered. She can do three easily, but holding down that extra finger to make two took her awhile to get the hang of.

- speaking of two, Bailey will be three in about two weeks. Don't even get me started on how fast time flies, and all of that jazz.

- is a big fan of Horizon Organic Honey Graham Crackers. As is my duty as mom, I've tried them out myself and can understand the obsession. They are mighty tasty!

- is about to finish up her winter activity of gymnastics. We will continue it in the fall, when it's time to head indoors again, but now that spring is basically here, we want to get her involved in outdoor activities! Most likely, it will be soccer (her Dad is a skilled player).

- can't get enough of the aforementioned warm weather. It's meant parks mostly for her, and that is her happy place. Any place that has a slide and she's there!

     That's all, folks! Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday! 

For an Adventure / To the Farm!

 

      Good morning! Today, I wanted to share some photos that both Kristen and I took from our adventure at Peach Tree Farms. Bailey just loved it, as most kids there did. From the animals to the random teepee, there were smiling faces everywhere! Check out our snaps below! 

     We beelined for the teepee as soon as we saw it. I think it was Baileys first time seeing one, so she was pretty taken aback. I plan to put a small play one in her room as a potty training reward once she gets there! 

      She really loved the goats and animals on the farm. I know it's sheep that go "bahhh", but every time Bailey sees a goat, she brays at it.

      I didn't get close enough to feed them, because of the smell, but her daddy loved showing her how they'll eat out of your hand! 

      There were little cabins in every pen, and they were just so cute. I wish I had an excuse to have one! 

     The pumpkin patches were also a hit! All I could think of was Charlie Brown, but Bailey was clearly only interested in sitting on them. 

     Sometimes I forget how similar Bailey and I are in skin tone and hair. It's not until I see pictures like these, where our coloring matches up exactly, that I can see it.

      Like I said, she really liked sitting on the pumpkins, even the ones that were so small they just rolled away underneath her!  

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Friday! TGIF!! 

Photo Project / October

 

     Hello! Now that October has passed, I can share my favorite photos of Bailey from the month. Above, Kristen snapped a good shot of Bailey + I at the farm we went to a couple of weekends ago. I love it when I get photos with Bailey, as I am usually the one taking photos of just her.

     Bailey in the bath with her precious bubbles. I love her hair in this one, it always sticks out in so many directions when it's wet.

      In front of a wall of flowers, but never an actual wall flower. Hah, I love puns. Mine are usually always intended.

     With her favorite toys of the moment. We've been practicing taking turns when building block towers, and so far, she really likes pointing out when it's my turn. Think she got my impatient gene?

     At the park, conquering slides. This is the tallest one, and she used to be pretty scared of it, but with her toddler-ness, most fears have gone out the window.

      The little angel sleeping. With it getting dark at 6 'o clock, it's not realistic to get a photo of her sleeping in the daylight. From now until spring, black + white it is!

     Our shoes in the (sadly) fallen leaves. This tree's leaves are bright orange, and there was a large amount that had blown off to the ground below, so I decided it was time to introduce Bailey to leaf piles. The girl loved throwing them and pushing them and hiding her feet in them so that mommy couldn't get a clear shot. She's quite contrary at this stage.

     Last, but not least, Bailey in profile. She carried that apple around all afternoon and kept munching on it. Yes, it was as disgusting by the end as you can imagine.

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

Bailey, Lately

 

    Good morning! Bailey's been having a blast this month. Fall brings so many new activities, like going to pumpkin patches and enjoying the cooler weather. The photo above is from last weekend when we visited a pumpkin patch / peach farm just outside of Columbia. We had to get the classic kid on a pumpkin shot! Now, onto what the little munchkins been up to other than sitting on pumpkins.

Bailey, Lately:

- has been loving balloons even more than usual. I don't think I can go to the grocery store with her anymore or our house will be filled with the balloons that line the checkout isles.

- has been getting on a more regulated evening schedule at home. We've been making an effort to have a sit down dinner and a bedtime routine every night.

- is getting really good at brushing her pearly whites. I really think she loves the praise too much to not do well.

- is getting better at waking up in the morning. She's way less grumpy now and wakes up happy most days.

- has been much more aware of the weather. She'll say things like "it's windy" or "it's raining" when it actually is doing those things.

- is all about Mickey Mouse, Pooh, and the Minions at the moment. Her Halloween costume will be one of those three (and I'll share it here on Halloween!).

- has been warming to her new (and first!) cousin Madi. When we went home last, Bailey got to re-meet her and it went well now that Madi's a bit older than the first time Bailey met her. The entire time we were there, Bailey was constantly asking about "baby".

- has been wanting to help with anything she can. In the kitchen, cleaning, with the puppies, everything.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Photo Project: August

 

     Hi guys! It's September 1st, so it's time to share my photo's of Bailey from the month of August! Above, Bailey and I swinging at a park down the street from our house. Special thanks to Cat for snapping it!

My little sweetie snoozing away.

Working on her masterpiece, in profile.

From behind, observing one of the many little ponds at Shelter Gardens.

Asleep clutching her favorite toy of the moment, an emoji balloon!

Mommy-and-me sandals after our walk to the farmer's market.

Wrapping her crayon in her washcloth. Her tub greatly resembles Basquiat's work.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

Bailey, Lately

 

     Hi there! Today's latest installment of Bailey, Lately features the little cutie on the pontoon at the lake. She really enjoyed the boat rides there, and was always in the front seat for any spraying and splashing we encountered! Now, on to what she's been up to.

Bailey, Lately:

- has become comfortable in the water. Be it slides, the boat, lilypad, or wading pool, she is always down to play!

- is in a "mine" phase. Sometimes, I think she's asking if something is hers by saying "mine", because if I say it's not hers, she picks up something else and repeats the process.

- is sitting through longer books! We almost got through an entire Bearenstain Bears book the other day.

- is accepting of the excessive heat, and isn't fond of staying outside in it for more than a couple of minutes.

- has been on a Masha and the Bear kick. Not sure what the draw is, but my guess is it's for mischief inspiration.

- is getting more and more coordinated. She can kick and throw a ball directly to a person, and has become a little obsessed with playing the piano.

 - has started coloring in objects. She's no where near inside the lines, but it's clear that's what she's trying to do.

- is getting better in restaurants. Depends on if she's hungry really, but she doesn't try and get away from the table as much.

- has been calling her BM diapers bubbles, which is accurate and hilarious.

Bailey, Lately

 

       It's time for a Bailey update! See what my little toddler has been up to below!

Bailey, Lately:

- has been taking longer baths. She needs the extra time to pour water into different containers, color on the bath walls with her new soap crayons, and practice her kicks and pulls from swim lessons.

- is sitting down to have meals more often. She prefers to eat on the go, but if you make her booster seat seem special, she'll let you strap her in.

- is being a little defiant with the potty training. We are giving it a small break.

- has been loving riding in the kayak with her daddy, and subsequently squirting me with a water gun. She cracks up laughing every time she gets me.

- has been talking non-stop. She repeats everything you tell her, like what objects names are and phrases. For instance, the concrete everywhere has been very hot because summer, and she knows it. Anytime we go outside or I set her on the ground, she loudly proclaims "it's hot!".

- has been loving a little slide her great-grandma got her. It's perfect for our small-ish front yard.

- is really getting into music. She'll either sit and listen attentively or dance non-stop for 10 minutes.

- has been obsessed with any kind of water play. Splashpads, little pools, sprinklers, the aforementioned baths, anything she can splash and stomp around in.

Mornings at Home, Pt. 1

 

     Hi there! One of my favorite things I get to do with Bailey is just simply relaxing with her. This typically happens on mornings I don't have to work: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sometimes she's her at her sweetest in the mornings, and it's just the best time to have breakfast, look at books, and maybe even get a little cuddling in! I've decided to start a new series, recording these mornings each month. I wanted to share and remember this special aspect of our lives at the moment, because I know these easy mornings with her won't always last. She'll grow up and want to sleep in or have school in the mornings, and I'll get to look back at these posts and have a good cry LOL. Honestly though, I'm just the type of person to take the "little things" seriously and really enjoy them, and I hope you do too. 

     Above, is a photo summarizing our morning a couple of weekends ago. We laid on our blankets, looked at mommy's pretty books, and I introduced her to Pocky, which was an excellent idea. Our local grocery store had cookies and creme flavor, which they don't usually have, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Bailey to try something new and delicious. Thanks for reading, and have a great Friday!

For a Photo Project: May

 

      Another day, another new series. It is still spring after all, the time of renewal and fresh ideas. This is one I've really enjoyed developing, as it centers around my little love. I got the idea for a photo project from this post over on A Cup of Jo. I was searching for some way to document Bailey's life visually, not just with words like my Bailey, Lately posts. It's just as easy to see growth as it is to describe it. I challenged myself all of May, to capture Bailey in 8 moments: in the bath (above), her shoes, with a favorite toy, snoozing, in profile, from behind, in front of a wall (all below), and with me. I somehow, didn't get a photo with Bailey this month, which is pretty saddening. However, I plan to try for one tonight, because it's one of the most important ones to capture. I want all of the memories with Bailey. Thanks for reading!

Bailey, Lately

 

    Good morning! The photo above kills me. She's posing exactly like God in the "Creation of Adam" at the Sistine Chapel. It was purely a fluke, but I like to think she inherited some of my Art History-loving genes. One can dream!

Bailey, lately:

- has become slightly more defiant. I've been told this is called the "terrible two's".

- likes to pick up rocks and put them in her clothes. Her daddy may or may not have done it to trick her once, and now she won't stop.

- recognizes colors and animals pretty easily. She recently acquired a Penguins of Madagascar figurine and calls him "peng".

- can throw and kick soccer balls with scary accuracy. We may have a soccer baby on our hands.

- has been insisting on driving the car shopping carts at grocery stores. Like we can't use any other cart or a tantrum ensues.

- has been allowing a ponytail for her bangs on top of her head! Victory is mine! Now, onto pig tails.

- is very into Pooh. Better than Curious George, in my opinion.

 - has been OK with going to restaurants, as long as there is a booster seat (not a high chair), crayons, and Netflix on daddy's phone. Oh, and mac-and-cheese.

 

To Talk About Helicoptering

 

       Hi there! I wanted to get into parenting styles a little bit, today. First, though, I want to say that this post reflects only my personal opinions on my own parenting, and I am in no way speaking about how other people choose to parent their children. This is strictly for me. That being said, the main topic I wanted to discuss is "helicoptering". According to Wikipedia, "a helicopter parent is a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child's or children's experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. Helicopter parents are so named because, like helicopters, they hover overhead, overseeing their child's life". Now, I've never been one to overly examine pretty much anything and everything. I generally take things at face value and have always been literal. This all stems from, in my opinion, doing dance for years when I was growing up. In dance, and especially competitive dance, the instructors pick you apart. Not necessarily your appearance (although that can happen sometimes), but how you are literally doing something wrong. It's all constructive criticism, so I learned early on, to not care and to not take it personally. I corrected what was wrong, and moved on.

     This has translated into my adult life and my "parenting style", which is the opposite of helicoptering. Another big part of my lack of hovering over Bailey, is that I don't like to be hovered over myself. I've always been independent, and I've never cared for nitpicking. As I did with dance and criticism in general, I tend to now brush off the daily downfalls of what was once a baby and has grown into a toddler. Will she trip and fall? Yes. Will she accidentally bonk her head on things? All the time. Do I hover right behind her attempting and failing to stop every bad thing that can happen to her? Absolutely not. Of course, like any parent I worry about my child constantly, and in my true nature, I can get irrational when it comes to Bailey. That's all in my head though, and it stays there. I don't waste time worrying about the inevitable things, like tripping and falling, because they are just that: inevitable.

     A large part of how Bailey learns is by making the mistake of not being careful enough, and then realizing that fact after she gets through whatever issue she's having. It's been the same way with time-out so far, and she has really grasped the concept of cause and effect. It's how I've learned most of my lessons in life, and I guess it was an unconcious decision to let Bailey learn those things on her own as well. I'll always be there to help her if she needs it, but I'll never try to control her wandering life. It's one of my favorite things about her, and about most children, that they are the most curious little things. It would be heartbreaking to stifle that quality in her, to teach her to be overly cautious or scared. Mommy may freak out at the sight of a worm (and run away screaming), but Bailey can pick it up and play with it all she wants. I don't need to be right next to her to tell her not to eat it. If she does eat it, while that'sdisgusting, it's not the end of the world. Thank you for letting me share, and have a great (long) weekend!

       

To Be Nostalgic

 

Good morning! Just wanted to share a little nostalgia that I've been enjoying this spring. Backstory: growing up, every spring, my mom, sisters, and I would drive over to our grandpas house to pick iris's. It's not a crazy story or anything, but it was always the first sign that spring was here and it was something I really looked forward to. 

This is the first spring for us in our new house, and our neighbor across the street has always had a beautiful garden. Once spring rolled around, I noticed something different about the front of her house. She had huge white and purple iris's blooming! 

While I didn't pick any, I had to photograph them. They made me smile every time I saw them, and I had to share.  

Thanks for reading, and have a great Monday! 

To Look at Books

 

     Hey there! Bailey's been accumulating a few well illustrated books ever since her first birthday. Of course, I'm the one that requests those beautiful books, but I like to think Bailey can appreciate their beauty as well. I've decided to share our favorites today! Have a look below: 

1. So Many Stars by Andy Warhol - Mr. Warhol created this pretty board book with his mother, and that seems to make it even sweeter. 

2. Corduroy by Don Freeman - this classic was always one of my favorites growing up, and Bailey's bear love is strong at the moment, which makes this one even more perfect.

3. Pride and Prejudice by Jennifer Adams - I received this as a gift before Bailey was even born, and I immediately knew I would subliminally push Bailey to love literature with it.  

4. Hug Me by Simona Ciraolo - Our recent obsession with plants and cacti is the only excuse I have for this one. Which, in my opinion, is perfectly fine.  

5. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt - growing up, I loved any book that involved animated crayons, or art in general. This is the most fun option yet.  

To Talk About Potty Training

 
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     Morning guys! I wanted to share our first experience potty training Bailey, today. A few weeks back, I set aside a weekend to start training her. No pants, diapers, underwear, nothing. It was rough to say the least, and the first day ended with me feeling discouraged and Bailey seeming deeply confused. After the first day, I decided to wait for a bit, and let her get used to her little potty and the idea of training itself. She's showing all of the signs of being "ready", but I think she wasn't caring so much about her accidents. She hates getting her clothes wet at all, so the next time around, I think I'll probably do the big shirt technique, so that she gets that it's uncomfortable to not potty in the toilet. I plan to purchase a big pack of these, since she seems intrigued by underwear, and we will just go for it, cold turkey, another weekend. Thanks for letting me share!

Bailey, Lately

 

     Hey guys! It's time for my favorite post of the month! Thinking about how Bailey is changing, and just generally thinking about Bailey is one of the best pastimes. I can't think of a better use of my time.

Bailey, lately:

- has been adding more and more words to her repertoire. For example: now, instead of asking "George?" when she wants to watch Curious George, she asks "Where's George?"!

- has been recognizing what her "home" is by asking when I pick her up after work every day, "Go home?". She's finally realizing where she spends most of her time!

- is getting more used to her princess training potty. I'm just acclimating her to it right now, and every time she has a bath, we set her Wolfie stuffed animal on it, and she says "Wolfie potty" LOL.

- is in love with playing in our front yard at all times. She practically begs to go outside every day.

- is also in love with blowing the poufs off of dandelion weeds. Really though, what kid doesn't love that?

- has been letting us do her hair! We've been experimenting with clips of all sizes and cute little ponytails. Next up: pigtails!

- has been very into turkey. No idea why, but that's her number one choice out of the fridge, other than milk.

- is starting to love modeling in our pictures haha. She'll even look at the camera sometimes! Also, when I'm styling things on a background for a photo, she'll run and grab something of hers and place it in the photo. I die everytime.